3 Reasons Hunters Have It Figured Out
I've pondered the "Farm Raised vs. Wild Caught" salmon debate for a long time. The evidence is compelling that wild caught is better for you in almost every way. As I drew that conclusion, I thought, "What about red meat? Is wild better than domestic?" Again, I think the evidence is compelling. The argument against hunting is the cost. You have to buy licenses, tags, gas to get there, a gun, and ammunition, at a minimum. If you're going to be serious you also need an atv or horses to get you deep into the back country, a trailer to haul them in, a pickup to pull them with, etc. At the end of it all, opponents of hunting will point out, you've spent several years salary for 175 pounds of elk meat that some members of the family won't even eat. They have a point. While it would be absurd (bordering on lunacy) to imply that hunters hunt their prey because the quality of meat they bring home will be superior to what they get in the store, it is true that -- whether intended or otherwise -- it's impossible to buy from the grocer what you can take in the field. Following are 3 reasons why wild game is superior to farm raised: 1. Wild game is generally leaner. Part of the reason for this is wild game has to forage for what they eat. They have to go in search of food and water every day. It's not like cattle, where someone provides them with hay and grain to eat every morning and evening. Wild game has to hike up and down hill and dale to find good sources of food and water. That means, by virtue of exercise alone they will have more muscle and less fat. When you take into account that these animals are generally leaner than beef in the first place and then add the additional exercise, they are always going to be leaner than beef. 2. Wild game is basically always "organic." The fact that big game animals don't eat corn and other GMO grains to gain weight, and the fact that they live wild in nature, where man is not interfering with the circle of life, Because they live in the wild they eat wild forage. That forage hasn't been compromised in any way by fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, etc. It's 100% natural, and because of that it has all the naturally occurring nutrients, vitamins and minerals that are necessary for a healthy, strong animal. Animals that grow naturally are healthier and stronger from the quality of the food they eat and the environmental stresses they endure. 3. Wild Game is generally more healthy. Part of that health comes from a great, organic diet. But part of it is also attributable to the fact that they aren't bunched up like cattle. It's true that there are just plain fewer big game animals per acre than cattle. In a pasture that would feed 500 head of cattle for every day of the summer, you might see a couple of deer or elk on a couple of occasions. Just the fact that they're spread far and wide reduces the possibility of catching a virus or something from other game animals. Because of that they are more healthy. Conclusion: This discussion has basically been comparing deer, elk and moose to beef cattle. What about bison? Of course bison are more like their wild game counterparts than they are like cattle. Here at Intermountain Bison, our bison are raised on thousands of acres where they roam free (just like they have done for thousands of years.) They roam up the hills for food and down in the canyon to drink fresh water from the streams. Yes, they receive a little grass hay in the winter so they aren't stressed by the temperatures, but by and large they are as close to wild as they can be without actually kicking them out of the ranch. What you eat makes a difference. Eating red meat that is lean and natural definitely fits into a healthy lifestyle. "Wild" red meat (like big game animals and naturally raised bison) are much better for you than their "farm-raised" counterparts. There are many other posts on this blog that explain why the right red meat should absolutely be part of your diet. If you're a hunter and you like chasing big game across the mountains, go for it. The quality of meat you get from it will make it doubly worth it. If hunting is not your thing, but you still want all the benefits of wild game, consider placing an order for bison. It provides all the benefits of wild game without the accompanying expense. Let us know your feelings on the "wild vs. farm-raised" debate. We'll look for them in the comments section below.